Art/Theater

Eileen Buckley/WBFO News

Albright-Knox Art Gallery leaders are promising the public will have a chance to join the museum's expansion conversation. An architecture firm has been hired, but there is no specific design plan yet.

This week we have three openings to celebrate! Tonight, it's THE PROFANE, a play by Zayd Dohrn, presented by Chautauqua Theater Company, directed by Vivienne Benesch.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

A blend of music, art and a lecture series will kick off for another season in Buffalo this fall. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley says the Albright-Knox Art Gallery announced dates for 'Art of Jazz', Buffalo Chamber Players and Director's Lecture Series.  

This Tuesday, Shakespeare in Delaware Park uses their "down time" between shows (The Winter's Tale ends Sunday night, July 17 and The Taming of the Shrew opens on July 28) to "put on a show" with the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra.

If you want to see strong women on stage, this is the time. Michele Marie Roberts stars in Tim Rice & Andrew Lloyd Webber's EVITA now at MusicalFare Theatre in Amherst through August 7. Across town, Lisa Vitrano takes charge as Paulina who speaks truth to power in THE WINTER'S TALE at Shakespeare in Delaware Park (through July 17).

Stratford Festival

The Stratford Festival isn't only doing Shakespeare this year, it is doing a play about Shakespeare: a new stage adaptation of the hit movie "Shakespeare in Love."  WBFO's Mike Desmond spoke with actor Luke Humphrey, who plays William Shakespeare in the production.

 

If you like the expression "Winter is coming" then you'll want to know that in Shakespeare in Delaware Park's THE WINTER'S TALE (now through July 17) there are at least two deaths, although both off stage. Death by grief and death by bear.

THE WINTER'S TALE by Shakespeare, a late comedy/romance is sometimes called one of the "problem plays" because Act I is so dramatic and sad while Act II is miraculous and uplifting. It opened last night at Shakespeare in Delaware Park. And you have only three days to catch DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS with an all star cast who bring their "A game" and oodles of energy to the Lancaster Opera House. Lots of fun.

courtesy Shakespeare in Delaware Park

When "The Winter's Tale" opens tonight in Delaware Park, spectators will get a glimpse at a new addition for the landmark institution. Managing director Lisa Ludwig says they've replaced the stage which had stood at the bottom of Shakespeare Hill for over two decades.

Andrew H. Walker/REX/Shutterstock June 12, 2016 | 07:11PM PT

Repression can be the actions of government, society, or an individual of subduing someone or something by force. But when it is the action or process of suppressing a thought or desire in oneself so that it remains unconscious, that can lead to explosive and tragic outcomes as we saw last Sunday at a gay night club in Orlando. Modern theater, ever since Nora slammed the door and walked away from repression at the end of Ibsen's play THE DOLL HOUSE, has dealt with the topic. And so, in a way, it was so apt that America's celebration of what is best in live Theater, the Tony Awards, followed on the heels of the horror.

Photo from Nickel City

An important slice of Buffalo history will be staged at Shea's Performing Arts Center Friday evening.  A brand new opera called 'SHOT!' will be performed by Nickel City Opera. It tells the story of the 1901-assassination of President William McKinley. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley talked with Nickel City Founder and national opera star Valerian Ruminski. He explains how the show was written by world-renowned, award-winning composer Persis Vehar. 

AN IDEAL HUSBAND a comedy by Oscar Wilde (one of G.B. Shaw's favorites) presented by The Irish Classical Theatre runs through June 26 at the Andrews Theatre at 625 Main Street, with a cadre of accomplished Buffalo actors. Meanwhile, DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS is presented by Second Generation Theatre Company at the Lancaster Opera House, 21 Central Avenue, through June 26. The 26th Annual Artie Awards presentation was a big success with over 19 awards given. And, up for only two performances, Nickel City Opera presents SHOT!

www.irishclassical.com

Niagara-on-the-Lake's Shaw Festival presents MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION and it is skillfully staged and directed as if this pro-feminist play were being produced in a gentleman's club, which, indeed is how the first production came to be for this censored work. And, it's the Shaw production that will make its way across the border to 710 Main Theatre in the late fall. An excellent choice based on the opening which Peter and Anthony saw over the weekend. Remember, 710 Main is where the Artie awards will be presented on Monday, June 6 at 8 p.m. (bar opens at 7). Meanwhile, Shaw's great friend Oscar Wilde, will have his play AN IDEAL HUSBAND (one of Shaw's favorites) open tonight at the Irish Classical Theatre (625 Main). And don't forget that O'Connell & Company is presenting Sondheim & Furth's COMPANY at The Park School in Snyder.

Photo provided by Shea's

Riverdance - The 20th Anniversary World Tour opened at Shea's Performing Arts Center Tuesday night.  The powerful, international show of Irish dancing is on stage only until Thursday evening. WBFO's senior reporter Eileen Buckley had a chance to talk with a former principal dancer who is now associate director of the show.


Photo by David Cooper.

The 26th Annual Artie Awards nominations have been published, recognizing the Artie Committee's top five choices for a variety of categories, from Best Actor and Best Actress to Best Production to Best Lighting, 19 categories in all.  And everyone is invited to the Artie Awards Show, Monday June 6, 2016  at 710 Main Theatre -  red carpet at 7:30, the show starts promptly at 8:00 p.m.  And, while "win-win" is an overused phrase, this time it's apt: The Shaw Festival and 710 Main Theatre (operated by Shea's Performing Arts Center) have a five year deal to bring the Shaw Festival's unquestioned excellence to Buffalo audiences, starting with G.B. Shaw's MRS. WARREN'S PROFESSION this fall.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

Neglia Ballet Artists holds a special gala Thursday evening called "Dancing to Live" featuring national and international dancers. Proceeds will benefit the TargetCancer Foundation and Neglia's CityDance program in Buffalo Public Schools. WBFO's Senior Reporter Eileen Buckley attended a rehearsal.  

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

Buffalo's 710 Main Theatre, which wrapped up its 2015-16 season last weekend, is already announcing plans for 2016-17. Beginning next season, their schedule will include a production by the prestigious Shaw Festival.


Michael Mroziak, WBFO News

It's currently a satellite location within the Niagara Falls Public Library System. But the LaSalle Branch is proving to be a useful setting for makers of the film Marshall, and for more than just library space.


Rich Wall, Buffalo Niagara Film Commission

A movie highlighting a court case early in the career of eventual U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall begins filming this week in Buffalo. And as one of the producers told WBFO in a one-on-one interview, additional stars have signed on for the project.


LOVE LETTERS, a touring production of the play by A.R. Gurney, directed by Gregory Mosher, starring Ali MacGraw, and Ryan O’Neal closes this weekend with four more performances available - Saturday May 21 at 2 and 8 p.m. and then Sunday, May 22, at 2 & 7 p.m. at 710 Main Theatre located 710 Main Street in Buffalo. Playwright A.R. "Pete" Gurney spoke with WBFO Theater Talk co-host Peter Hall about the first performance with Gurney himself opposite Holland Taylor. Gurney also shares insights into why Ali MacGraw is so perfect for this role.

LOVE LETTERS by Buffalo's A.R. "Pete" Gurney closes this Sunday night at 710 Main, so you still have some time to soak up some major star power - Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal - in an intimate and very moving one act play presented by two old friends. Powerful performances from the ensemble make FARRAGUT NORTH at Road Less Traveled Theatre -  a compelling night of drama and talk about timely! It's all about behind the scenes machinations in an election year.

As FARRAGUT NORTH at Road Less Traveled shows us the hubris of a political campaign, DETROIT 67 at the Paul Robeson Theatre updates RAISIN IN THE SUN themes to the riots of 1967, and JUDGMENT AT NUREMBERG at The New Phoenix Theatre asks the question "how far would you go to to make your country great again?" - powerful dramas are on multiple stages this month in Buffalo.

Chris Caya WBFO News

The largest public art project to date, sponsored by Erie County, is going up in downtown Buffalo. The Albright-Knox Art Gallery and Shea's Performing Arts Center are collaborating on a new mural on the wall of 710 Main Theatre, along West Tupper Street.

WBFO News photo by Eileen Buckley

The red carpet was rolled out in Buffalo's theater district Monday afternoon as star power arrived at 710-Main Stage Theatre. Actress Ali MacGraw and Actor Ryan O'Neal are bringing the national tour of 'Love Letters' written by Buffalo playwright A.R. Gurney to the Queen City. WBFO's Eileen Buckley had a chance to meet the celebrities up close. 

DIRTY DANCING, the musical based on the Patrick Swayze movie, continues at Shea's Performing Arts Center with five more performances, closing with a 7 p.m. show on Sunday, May 8. Buffalo-born playwright A.R. "Pete" Gurney's LOVE LETTERS opens with "Love Story" stars Ali MacGraw and Ryan O'Neal at the intimate space of 710 Main Theatre and it opens Wednesday May 11 and runs through May 22.

In the history of musical theater, operettas were a bridge between opera, where every word is sung and what today we call musicals, where there is a lot of dialog, with songs throughout. But early operettas had songs that didn't really move the plot along. Then, after some successes under their belts, the team of Gilbert (lyrics) and Sullivan (music) wrote PATIENCE, a satire about poseurs. It was groundbreaking in that the songs were actually integral to the plot.

If you missed Anthony's cameo in the movie THE AMERICAN SIDE (starring Matthew Broderick and showcasing the City of Buffalo in all of the location shots) then pencil in a trip to 710 Main where Hollywood stars Ryan O'Neal and Ali MacGraw (of LOVE STORY) will appear in Buffalo-born A.R. Gurney's LOVE LETTERS.  Need a little Vegas in your life? Buffalo's own Eric Jordan Young IS Sammy Davis Junior in CELEBRATING SAMMY: BROADWAY TO VEGAS with the BPO at Kleinhans, Saturday night at 8 p.m.

In this 100th anniversary of the Easter Uprising which ultimately led to the independent Irish Republic of today, there is considerable interest in the great Irish poet, playwright, and political activist William Butler Yeats. THE YEATS PROJECT: TWO PLAYS BY W.B. YEATS combines the dramatic direction of Irish Classical's Vincent O'Neill, Torn Space's visually arresting sets (Dan Shanahan), and movement by Lehrer Dance (Jon Lehrer). It opens tonight at the Andrews Theatre.

Photo from Michele Ragusa's website.

Buffalo native and Broadway star Michele Ragusa performs at Kleinhans Music Hall this Friday for a cabaret-style show.  She returns to her home-town performance after recently starring in Hello Dolly in Vero Beach, Florida.  WBFO's Eileen Buckley talked with Ragusa ahead of this week's performance learning about a special song she will sing to honor the legacy of her father's musical work. 

Musicalfare Theatre's talent pool is so deep that it's offering two musicals at once: AVENUE Q at 710 Main and HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING at Musicalfare Theatre's home in Amherst on the Daemen College campus. AVENUE Q is a wonderful collaboration between Musicalfare and Shea's Performing Arts Center, and could point to a healthy future for a Buffalo landmark.

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